Thrillerfest

Thrillerfest!

on July 7, 2014

I’m off to Thrillerfest on the Red Eye. Yes, I’m crazy. Yes, I swore I’d never take the Red Eye again. But there were several factors that went into the decision. 1) I refused to spend $70 more for a room because I didn’t reserve Monday night at the conference rate. 2) My daughter who lives in Arizona is leaving Tuesday morning, and I’d like to spend one more day with her. (Of course, we’ll be clearing out her room — she’s taking more stuff to her new townhouse and my making room for my 11 year old to move… Read More


Conference Season: Attire

on June 24, 2014

I have two conferences coming up — Thrillerfest in NYC and RWA in San Antonio. I have a lot to say about these conferences, and you’ll hear most of it over the next couple of weeks, but today I want to talk about CLOTHES. I’m a writer. When I get up in the morning, I walk on the treadmill, take my shower, and dress in clean pajamas or maybe — if I might be going out later — sweats and a T-shirt. I spoke to a writers group in Elk Grove last week and lamented that I had to find… Read More


BREAKING! Cold Snap a finalist in the Thriller Awards!

on April 7, 2014

A second post today! Surprise! But I couldn’t contain my excitement. COLD SNAP is a finalist in the 2014 Thriller Awards for Best Paperback Original. I am totally surprised and thrilled and humbled because I am in AMAZING company, including MSW alum Kendra Elliot. I have been a judge for the Thriller Awards in all but three years of the contest, and one of those years I was the awards chair, so I know how difficult it is for judges to narrow down a list to just a few books. There are so many fabulous thrillers published every year, and… Read More


The Villain’s Journey

on January 27, 2014

One of my favorite workshops to present is on the Villain’s Journey. I took the title from a paragraph in Christopher Vogler’s THE WRITER’S JOURNEY that said, in short, that the villain is the hero of his own journey. When I read that years ago, everything clicked for me. If I always kept that concept in front of me when I wrote, character motivation was clearer. It wasn’t just the villain and the hero who were on a journey, but every other character who crossed their paths.


Conference Season

on July 18, 2013

Last night I had a headache, so I put my head down for just a few minutes … and woke up hours later. So I apologize for being late with the blog this morning. Trust me. You wouldn’t have wanted me to write it last night at 1 am when I stumbled in from my office to my bed. It would have looked something like this: ;a;o9734jknd aie odf0- dfkl2;j 9OedfmSKJF lh,. I returned from Thrillerfest Sunday night after a fabulous week in New York City. I didn’t get to do everything I wanted — I’d said that this year… Read More


Thrillerfest VII

on July 19, 2012

I’ve been a member of International Thriller Writers since almost the beginning of their organization. (In fact, I missed being a charter member by three days! Grr.) Since the first, small conference in Arizona in 2006, I’ve only missed one “Thrillerfest” when it conflicted with RWA. If there’s ever another conflict, I won’t be skipping out on Thrillerfest. There are many reasons why I love this conference, not least of which is the thriller/suspense focus. The conference is in New York City and gives me the opportunity to sit down with my editor and agent every year. While meeting in… Read More


Conference Season

on July 5, 2012

July is a busy month for romance and thriller writers, and those of us who write romantic thrillers, we often have to chose between Thrillerfest and Romance Writers of America. Two conferences in one month is expensive, but since these are usually the only two conferences I attend, I save up. I find both valuable for not only my career, but my sanity–I get to hang with my fellow writers and see friends I usually only talk to online. I met Toni at the first Thrillerfest in Arizona–still the single best conference I’ve ever been to. We’ve been best buddies… Read More


Money Can't Buy Love

on July 21, 2011

I’m back from New York City where I was at first the Romance Writers of America conference then the International Thriller Writers “Thrillerfest.” There are many great wrap-ups of the conferences around cyberspace, and it’s kind of old news, so I won’t rehash it here. Besides, I have little to add. But one thing that happened–and is still happening–I want to talk about, because I think it affects all authors … and readers. Self-promotion. There was an undercurrent of angst among authors–and not just debut authors or midlist authors–that they needed to do *more* self-promotion. Many conversations, particularly at RWA,… Read More


Money Can’t Buy Love

on July 21, 2011

I’m back from New York City where I was at first the Romance Writers of America conference then the International Thriller Writers “Thrillerfest.” There are many great wrap-ups of the conferences around cyberspace, and it’s kind of old news, so I won’t rehash it here. Besides, I have little to add. But one thing that happened–and is still happening–I want to talk about, because I think it affects all authors … and readers. Self-promotion. There was an undercurrent of angst among authors–and not just debut authors or midlist authors–that they needed to do *more* self-promotion. Many conversations, particularly at RWA,… Read More


Social Media

on July 1, 2010

I’m moderating a workshop at Thrillerfest next week about social networking: Is Social Networking a Waste of Time? My panelists include a prolific non-fiction author, a popular fiction author, a publicist, and two industry professionals and to say I’m a little intimidated to be leading such an esteemed panel is an understatement (and one of my favorite authors is on a panel opposite mine, Ted Dekker, a fabulous scary and talented thriller author with a Christian bent–I hesitate to lump him into Christian thrillers ala Frank Peretti, because it’s not really the same thing, but there is usually a spiritual… Read More